Welcome back to another week of The Daily Fashion Fix. This week's global goodies comes from the vibrant country of India! Long time readers know I absolutely love when vintage style and global history come together in one piece. And this weeks dress? ... A 1970's vintage sari styled dress directly from India is exactly that! Historically saris have been worn in Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka and most famously India for centuries.
Hey Royal Fam! ... Angela of Q.A.C back again this week sharing another one of my favorite cultural fashion creations.
This week's go to was a beautiful wrap dress I created from a body wrap batik fabric I often multi-use as material for headwraps, tops, dresses ... You name it. If you've been following my personal page on Instagram, you've seen me post on the importance of acknowledging the wide array of African fabrics outside of the ever popular dashiki and kente cloths.
A quick lesson on the batik fabric -
1: The word batik originates from the island nation of Java in Indonesia
2: Over the centuries and through ancient trade routes over 2,000 years ago, the art of creating this fabric travel through Asia, Egypt, and ultimately Africa ... More specifically to Nigeria (with the Yourba people) and in Senegal.
3: In creating batik fabrics, particularly in Africa the process is done by stenciling a thick paste (made of cassava in Nigeria / rice in Senegal) on cotton or silk, by hand.
4: Once the paste dries, the fabric is dyed, then left to dry. Once completely dry the paste is removed and the white handcrafted design art is made visible.
Cool right?! ... The particular fabric I'm wearing in this week's feature is made from the Senegalese fashion using rice paste .. And I absolutely love it. For deets on my D.I.Y dress creation and how you can replicate this dress yourself at home ... Trust me guys, you've got this! .. Tap HERE!
Alright, that's all for now. As always, 'Till next time, the journey continues!
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The thought of children being born with special gifts isn't a new concept. Cultures all over the globe have acknowledged and celebrated certain individuals or children with "gifts" throughout history. The origins of "Indigo Children" or "Star Children" is no different. Arising in the 1970's, the term has come to identify those with a special connection to psychic and spiritual abilities.
Those who are born with these gifts are often confident, intuitive, clairvoyant, creative, and at times reclusive ... preferring to be around other like minded sensitives.
To know me, is to know that I love all things mystical, spiritual, and otherwise "otherworldly". While there's much speculation as to how factual these indigo claims truly are, for me there's no question that the presence of spiritually inclined ... magically gifted individuals exist. I would even venture to say, I am one ... But that's a post for perhaps another day : ].
This week's fun ensemble is a tribute to my fellow mystics. Deep indigo dress (vintage) with double slits offers a fun way to play with styling .... While the gold accents on the dress, belt, and shoes, are present to represent the illumination of the stars. I also happen to be a fan of this dress for its patterning.
layful pineapples paired with the adinkra symbol of "Bese Saka" (symbolism of affluence) was a great and unexpected surprise as it incorporates both my tropical / caribbean and Ghanaian heritage. This dress is definitely a new fashion staple for my personal closet!
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Anytime one attempts to talk about religion, there's always hesitation ... especially when the religion in question is one that has so many misconceptions surrounding it. This is undoubtably true when it comes to the practice of Santeria.
Born out of the devastating slave trade, Santeria originates from the large number of Yoruba (Nigerian tribal group) African survivors which ultimately were brought to Cuba and forced to practice Catholicism in leu of their own religion.
Being the survivors that they were, these Afro-descendants, while practicing the new Catholic religion also incorporated several aspects of their african spiritual traditions into the faith. From this co-mingling of traditional worship and colonialism emerged the practice of Santeria.
Within Santeria a peace is made where similarities within both faiths are found. African deities and Catholic saints are prayed to equally without conflict. Within this new community, new initiates, called "Iyawos" wear white and undergo a yearlong rites of passage filled with ceremonies, restrictions, new practices.
The act of wearing all white is a form of rebirth symbolizing purity, peace of mind, and spiritual clarity. Due to the unfavorable feelings at times for all things "Africano" on the island, particularly misunderstood religious practices and rituals from the continent, Santeria was not always welcomed and therefore continues to be practiced quietly within tight communities worldwide.
Like so many of african descent living within the diaspora, there comes a point where a merging of cultures occurs ... The clash of two worlds is never an easy one. In the case of the Santeros/as (Santeria practitioners) in Cuba, they were able to find a home under assimilation, untimely like so many others, creating a beautiful new aspect of their culture ... something uniquely their own.
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Kente Cloth is the hallmark fabric of Ghana, W. Africa. It's use throughout Ashanti culture and history (one the major Ghanaian tribes) is world renowned. From the exclusive use by royal families and statesmen ... to its use during special events such as weddings and funerals, the various patterns and colors of kente played a significant role in daily tribal life.
In today's modern society, the role of kente cloth is equally as significant and respected. The practice of crafting yards of authentic fabric remain nearly unchanged, as it is made today in almost exactly the same process as was seen hundreds of years ago. One main difference is the presence of what is now called "kente print." Kente print differs from traditional kente cloth in 3 key ways:
1) The kente print is much lighter, where as yards of traditional kente cloth has a bit of heft to it.
2) Kente cloth is made traditionally, on a loom by artisans ... where as kente print is often made in factories that duplicate the traditional design.
3) The price point for authentic kente cloth is much higher than regular kente print. While it's wonderful to have true kente cloth (and I personally advocate for shopping authentic when possible), some find kente print to be more financially accessible. Traditional kente cloth can cost hundreds of dollars per yard.
To honor my royal Ashanti tribal roots, my dad is an Ashanti chief, I often like to pay homage from time to time, by wearing and designing with kente patterns. Here, I'm wearing a classic kente print dress. While kente is an older global fabric, there are so many ways to add a modern feel.
To learn more about traditional kente cloth, click on the following video!
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Personal style is all about self-expression. What makes it appear effortless is the level to which that given style is authentic to the wearer. Let's pause for a minute, and rephrase, what does that actually mean? In short, I'm saying, unless you're dressed in pieces which truly reflect who you are at your core, it will always feel as though you’re wearing a costume ... Donning someone else's identity essentially … And what's worse? ... You’ll always feel completely uncomfortable while doing it.
Sort of like that time you left the house as a kid wearing that "thing" your mom swore you'd look cute in ... Only to spend the entire day feeling completely awkward and counting down the hours until you got home could peal it off. Shudders at the memories of orthopedic styled school shoes gone by. Thanks mom, lol.
Today, as fun and layered as my style might appear, it’s also equally as simple. It derives from two major aspects of my personality, my love for all things culture & history (in this case we’re talking vintage). These two style components marry so well together because for me? … it's genuine. My "Globally Classic" style is a direct representation of who I am & what I love.
It's the common thread found throughout any genre of clothing I wear … And honestly, that really is the secret to how I'm able to flow effortlessly between looks. From rocker to fairy princess … from free-spirited culture lover to professional work-ware … while the theme may change depending on my mood or setting, the core foundation of my “Globally Classic” style never changes.
This winter look was no different. Rather than freaking over what to wear during a deep chill, I immediately went to my "uniform" of culture pieces and vintage classics. In this case, I pulled a few accessories with cultural significance from:
· African and Papua New Guinea - Cowrie Shell Ring: Symbolizing wealth and good luck
· Ghana, W. Africa – Nyame Ring: Meaning “God is Supreme” in Ashanti Adinkra symbols
· Bali – Mala (prayer) Bead Bracelet: Used for deep meditation sessions
· India – Ganesha (elephant) Ring: The symbolizing the Hindu god know as the "remover of obstacles"
· Egypt – Pyramid Ring with the "All Seeing Eye" worn for protection.
In addition to this, the star of my look happened to be twofold, these beautifully lined shearling leather boots from Born and this showstopper of a vintage coat. Did I mention that it happened to be an 100% authentic silver fox fur sourced for my personal collection?!
I’ve been waiting all winter for colder temps just to wear it * girly swoons. * Not only is it warm, but its simple elegance can really pull together and polish off any last minute outfit. Simple top, flirty skirt, great boots, statement coat, and cultured accessories … all pulled together in a matter of minutes. Once you’ve mastered your own personal style, pulling together your “go to” items and creating a look on the fly that’s completely your own becomes a breeze!
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Hi again fashion fiends! I'm back again sporting some of my favorite vintage looks this week, while offering quick advice on how to comfortably incorporate color into your wardrobe.
While scrolling my twitter timeline the other day, I came across women discussing a recent fashion post. More specifically? ... They were admiring the look, but feeling completely helpless on how they could pull off the style.
The picture in question showed a woman confidently posing in an outfit filled with color and looking completely fabulous while doing it. The consensus of the conversation? ... "I could never pull something like that off."
Why? Despite popular thinking, incorporating color into your wardrobe can be really easy. One sure fire way to tackle this mystery is to master the skill of color-blocking. What's "color-blocking?" Simply put, its pulling together a group of solid colors that work well together and using them to create your look. Sounds good, but if you're like me, then you're probably wondering "where do I pull these colors from?" ... "How do I know which colors look great together?" To solve this problem, I advise people to grab one of there favorite accessories and take a look at the color scheme.
Like many African women, I absolutely LOVE incorporating color into my wardrobe. In my case, I decided to use one of my favorite kente headwraps. Not only is it bold and designed with traditional Ghanaian Kente patterns (you know I'm all about repping my culture), but it's also full of color options ... Perfect for pulling a few colors for my color block plan. In this case, I pulled green, burnt orange, blue, and brown.
Now, you might be wondering, why I would pull brown if it wasn't part of the colors directly seen in the wrap? Protip: Brown and "burnt orange" are pretty close on the color wheel and compliment each other very well. If you notice, I also used this tip this by pulling two shades of blue as well. You can pull off this trick too if you're looking to experiment or if you're missing a specific color from your wardrobe at the time. Just think, "what's the next best/ closest color to the one I need" and work from there. You'll be surprised the color combinations you come up with!
Once you have your funky base accessory and your group of solids selected, your new look for the day is ready to go! Ultimately, let's be honest. Stepping out of a fashion comfort zone and trying something new can be a bit of a challenge and somewhat scary. No one wants to leave the house feeling like the whole world is looking at them with a stifled laugh or a confused screw face ... but like the Ghanaian symbol of strength painted on the brick wall behind me ... all it takes is a bit of courage. Fashion and dress should be all about self-expression and like life, part of the fun, is the journey along the way to discovery! Good Luck and happy mixing!